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Baltimore Ravens 2022 Offseason Preview: Pending free agents, team needs, draft picks, and more

After a disappointing 2021, let's look at the Baltimore Ravens' offseason, including their team needs, pending free agents, and draft picks.

The Baltimore Ravens head into the offseason after enduring a tumultuous 2021 NFL season riddled with serious injuries and illnesses to most of their major contributors. What will Baltimore’s offseason look like? How will the Ravens deal with their pending 2022 free agents and team needs, and how will they utilize their draft picks?

Baltimore Ravens 2022 offseason preview

Lamar Jackson was not himself this season. His elusiveness and athleticism played to his detriment as a passer in 2021, as he freelanced far more frequently than in the past. As such, he made poor decisions and throws in the process.

The Ravens have a massive decision to make concerning Jackson’s potential contract extension. The process is a bit of an unknown because the star QB does not employ an agent. However, it’s difficult to envision the former league MVP not coming to some sort of long-term deal with the franchise this offseason.

Aside from Jackson’s future, the most significant list item for the Ravens to achieve in the offseason is health. They need Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Ronnie Stanley, and the local pizza delivery guy to all come back healthy in 2022.

It’s incredible they found as much success as they did this season without those key contributors for most of it.

The Ravens have $22.8 million in projected cap space

Source: Spotrac (as of Jan. 9) 

Baltimore hasn’t made a habit of paying players if they don’t deserve it, so they won’t be looking to make too many moves in the offseason. Jackson will be their largest cap hit on his option year, but he is still extremely cheap in the grand scheme. His $23 million cap charge is a drop in the bucket compared to his market value.

With only Jackson accounting for more than 10% of the cap in 2022, the Ravens are in a prime position to bolster the softer spots of their roster with veterans on one-year deals. There will be some interesting decisions around the likes of Marcus Peters, Alejandro Villanueva, and Miles Boykin. Releasing all three could open up around $18.5 million if they feel they can replace all three with worthwhile options.

Ravens’ pending free agents

The Ravens could lose multiple contributing members from their defensive line. Brandon Williams and Calais Campbell are both scheduled to hit free agency. Between the two, their previous contracts added up to $23 million in average annual value. They’re both older now and could come cheaper, but that’s still a large chunk of their money that the Ravens “gain” in 2022.

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Patrick Ricard, Anthony Averett, DeShon Elliott, Sammy Watkins, and Justin Houston are all contributors with expiring contracts. The culture in Baltimore is A1, so there is a chance the Ravens sneak some of these guys back on the roster for slightly less than they’d receive on the open market.

How do the Ravens’ free agents rank among the best available in 2022? Be sure out our list of top free agents available at each position to find out.

Ravens’ team needs

We’ve talked a little bit about the defensive line, but that’s far from the only need Baltimore possesses heading into 2022. They need help in both trenches and quite possibly at cornerback as well.

The decisions around Villanueva and Peters will be crucial to shaping these needs. If they let Villanueva walk then tackle really is crucially important. However, the uncertainty around Ronnie Stanley’s health could also limit what they are willing to do at tackle this offseason.

Baltimore’s top five needs in the 2022 NFL offseason

  • Offensive tackle
  • Defensive tackle
  • Cornerback
  • Guard
  • Safety

Ravens’ 2022 NFL Draft picks

Baltimore could have more fourth-round picks than I’ve had toothbrushes since becoming an adult if they get their projected compensatory selections. And with four selections inside the top 102 picks, they should be able to do some damage at positions of need. They look set to have as many as nine total choices in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Here’s how the Ravens’ 2022 NFL Draft picks currently stand according to the draft order:

  • Round 1 (Pick 14)
  • Round 2 (Pick 13)
  • Round 3 (Pick 12 & 38)
  • Round 4 (Pick 5 — from NYG, 14, & 24* — from ARI)
  • Round 6 (Pick 196)

*Pick number dependent on results of 2022 NFL playoffs.

Dalton Miller is the Lead NFL Analyst at Pro Football Network. You can read more of his work here and follow him @daltonbmiller on Twitter and Twitch

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